An accountability court in Islamabad has extended judicial remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former managing-director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Sheikh Imranul Haq till December 3 in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal case.
The accountability court continued the hearing of LNG terminal case as Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Imranul Haq were produced.
National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) legal counsel told the court that the institution’s head approved a corruption reference to be filed against the accused.
While, on the other hand, defence counsel told the court that they have objections on the custody protocol being followed by the NAB.
Abbasi requested the court to look into the nature of case under investigation.
He further said that all the criticism on him regarding the provision of expensive LNG is baseless, in fact, he signed the deal at the lowest rate as compared to India and Bangladesh.
He criticised NAB authorities, saying that the anti-corruption watchdog should show some courage to tell the court for the LNG rates.
NAB lawyer informed the court that LNG reference is ready to be filed as it gets approval from the regional bureau. The corruption reference will be filed within 14 days after its final approval from the NAB headquarters.
While answering to the objections of Abbasi’s lawyer, the NAB prosecutor replied that the charges which the former premier is facing would be given in the corruption reference.
He said that the accused persons have the right to apply for bail on the concerned forum if they are having any complaint about imprisonment.
He also told the court that the suspects have not moved to any concerned forum to get bail, and also, judicial remand should be extended.
Defence lawyers pleaded the accountability court’s judge to permit joint sitting of all accused persons for preparations of the next hearing. To this, the judge remarked that the defence side could finalise preparations inside the court’s room.
He directed authorities to allow Abbasi to meet his legal team.
Later, the court extended judicial remand of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Sheikh Imran ul Haq till December 3 and adjourned the hearing till then.